Saturday, 11 April 2015

The Return of the Greater Yellowlegs

I was working my way around Botley Wood this morning looking for spring migrants when news broke that the, or another Greater Yellowlegs at Titchfield Haven. This time, instead of being along the canal path the bird was at the bottom end of the River Meon, and was visible from the road. I was keen to see the bird again but opted to finish off my circuit of Botley Wood before heading off. 

There appeared to be very little evidence of spring bird wise, other than the usual species that have been present the last few weeks. Eventually I did manage to track down a Willow Warbler, evidence that just maybe spring is on the way.

I arrived at the Haven and the Greater Yellowlegs was performing very well feeding with a couple of Black-tailed Godwits. It was feeding on the edge of the reeds and would occasionally take flight, calling frequently. At one point it was being harassed by a Redshank, which proved too much for it and it headed into the south scrape. I quickly went and got a ticket and headed into the reserve.

Greater Yellowlegs with Black-tailed Godwit

Views from the south scrape hide were initially very close, but by the time I got there it had moved further from the hide. It was still quite flighty initially, but finally settled down and began to preen. The question on everybody's lips was where has this bird been since it was last seen, assuming that is that its the same bird. Had it really been in the Meon Valley somewhere? It seems unlikely that that is the case since the area is so well watched, but you never know.

Greater Yellowlegs (left) with Black-tailed Godwits
Greater Yellowlegs in flight
Greater Yellowlegs
Greater Yellowlegs (left) Redshank (Right)
Greater Yellowlegs
Greater Yellowlegs

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